The French partner ACTA in the IWMPRAISE project has created an integrated weed management (IWM) game. This version of the game concerns annual cropping systems only. A version for perennial crops is under development and will be published later.
The game was first developed in French language and tested by ACTA and Arvalis with French farmers and students. The French version has been available here for some time:
Game available in English
Now, we can present an English translation of the game below. The objective of the game is to present all the methods to manage and control weeds in the context of an arable crop rotation. Production indicators (yield and quality) but also impact indicators (water quality, agronomic quality of the soil, toxicity, soil fau-na) make it possible to compare each of the solutions to be implemented. The type of soil is chosen initially but the weather is random and influences the evolution of five groups of weeds and the possibility of im-plementing methods. The players are limited in money over the duration of the game and in time on each of the six periods which represent a rotation of two crops.
The winner of the game must therefore both ensure a certain production output while having a minimum im-pact on the environment and applicator health.
Testing with farmers
In the French tests, the farmers mostly underlined the interest of the game in facilitating exchanges on the different techniques between the participants.
The aim is that adding a bit of fun and a competitive aspect of farmer interaction can actually help farmers focus on the integration of tools that is a necessary part of implementation of IWM.
We have included a story from a day with French farmers visiting field trials in the morning and afterwards playing the IWM game.
How to play the game
The game consists of a number of files which must be printed, preferably on a colour printer. The files are:
This file gives an overview of the game and the rules of playing. It is essential for the facilitator of the game to read this carefully before introducing the game to the players.
This is the main board to track the course of the game, including weather and weed dynamics. It must be printed in one copy for a group of farmers.
This is the main board to print for the players. One board is printed for each player.
These cards give a range of potential weed management measures and their characteristics (price, efficacy, toxicity etc,)
These cards represent weather scenarios, soil types and different types of annual crops.
We encourage anyone interested to test the game and report their experiences to Philippe Delval. If you are interested in translating the game to your language or adopting the game to conditions in your country/local area/cropping system, you are also welcome to contact Philippe Delval.
Play the game – and remember that even if you may lose, you will gain knowledge!